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Our Opinion: We have your back; do you have ours?

It is no secret that the newspaper business is evolving as we seek to compete with ever-changing news delivery. While at one time newspapers were the only means of distributing news, now there are television and radio news organizations and numerous online sites competing for the opportunity to bring you news that matters.

In this climate, we stand by our mission to produce top-quality news publications focusing on people and events that affect Austin and the surrounding area — and to do so accurately. In the end, we seek to not only inform and involve our readers, but to inspire them.

To do this, we must be able to operate at a profit level that allows us to fairly compensate our employees, reinvest in our organization and stand independent from outside influences.

For this reason, the Austin Daily Herald and its sister paper, the Albert Lea Tribune, have seen changes in recent weeks to make sure this remains a top priority for both communities.

One publisher now oversees both newspapers, and some may notice changes in staffing in a few of our departments.

This doesn’t mean that we are reducing days we publish, are combining newspapers or replicating them — it essentially means the staff at both the Austin and Albert Lea newspapers will work together more, as possible, as we seek to be the most efficient in our work.

We know people in Austin are not always concerned about everything happening in Albert Lea, and vice versa, but if a reporter is writing a story on the weather, for example, he or she can write a story for one newspaper and then make a few slight adjustments for the story to run in the second newspaper.

And we continue to evolve our digital approach as habits for news consumption evolve.

Change is hard, but necessary, and our goal remains to bring you the news you want and need to read.

As we implement these changes, we ask that you let us know what are your favorite things to read in the newspaper so we can make sure we are using our time wisely. We can see statistics online of most popular stories, but we don’t always know what is most read in print.

Please reach out to Managing Editor Eric Johnson at eric.johnson@austindailyherald.com or 310 2nd St. NE, Austin, MN 55912. The information you provide will be used for our purposes only and will not be published.

We also ask for your support. That means being a subscriber, choosing us when buying advertising and shopping with the advertisers on these pages. Those advertisers support us, and we hope you will support them in an age where the internet is changing our daily lives.

We will always believe there is a need for getting out truthful information and sharing advertising with our community, and though we must search for ways to be better within our financial constraints, we reassure you we have no intentions of going away.